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FDOH Urges Precautions to Limit Risk of Seasonal Flu

By FDOH Walton

September 22, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                                   

September 22, 2014                                                                                                                                                                                              

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH URGES PRECAUTIONS TO LIMIT RISK OF SEASONAL FLU

~Get Your Flu Shot Early~

WALTON COUNTY— The Florida Department of Health in Walton County (DOH-Walton) officials urge residents and visitors to take precautions to limit their risk of exposure to seasonal flu, an infection of the respiratory tract caused by the influenza virus. Compared with most other viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, influenza infection often causes a more severe illness.

“The most effective precautions we can take to fight the flu are getting vaccinated and practicing good hygiene habits like washing hands often,” said Holly Holt, DOH-Walton Administrator. “These simple precautions may lessen your risk of exposure of the virus or transmission to others.” Be sure to watch for symptoms of the flu, such as headache, fever, a severe cough, runny nose or body aches. Contact your primary care physician if symptoms appear.

DOH-Walton urges the following preventive steps for the flu:

  • Get vaccinated EVERY FLU SEASON because strains of flu viruses change each year.
  • If you are sick with flu–like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
  • If you have a chronic illness, or are pregnant, contact your healthcare provider if you have an illness that might be influenza. You may benefit from treatment with prescription antiviral medication.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

  • Wash your hands often throughout the day, whether you are sick or not, with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Chronic illnesses that put you at risk for more severe influenza and complications, no matter how old you are, include diabetes, heart disease, asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer, and neurological and developmental disorders. People who are obese are also at increased risk of severe influenza.

For more information about flu prevention, visit https://www.floridahealth.gov/prevention-safety-and-wellness/flu-prevention/index.html or https://www.cdc.gov/flu, or call CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636). 

Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, retail stores, pharmacies, health centers, and by many employers.  It is important for you and your family members to get a flu vaccine every year.  Check with your physician or visit https://www.floridahealth.gov/prevention-safety-and-wellness/flu-prevention/locate-a-flu-shot.html to search for a location to receive a flu vaccine.

 For more information or to schedule an appointment, call DOH-Walton and Walton Community Health Center at (850) 892-8015 or visit the website at https://www.floridahealth.gov/chdwalton/index.html. The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.floridahealth.gov.